One of the biggest shockers for Democrats Tuesday night was the loss of a governor's race in Maryland—a loss that tarnishes Democratic Governor Martin O'Malley's legacy in the state.
Larry Hogan, a Republican who has never held elected office, won by nine points in the Bay State, according to the Associate Press tally. It was a stunning come-from-behind victory, with polls showing him trailing Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown by double digits over the summer.
In winning, Hogan overcame both a 2-to-1 Democratic voter advantage and enthusiasm among black voters who make up nearly a third of the population and were hungry to elect the state's first African-American governor. Hogan will govern with a friendlier legislature, as Baltimore Sun reporter Erin Cox noted.
Democrats started griping immediately after the loss, with one top strategist complaining that Brown ran away from incumbent Martin O'Malley's record rather than defending it. In 2010, O'Malley faced a similarly difficult national climate against Democrats and defeated his Republican opponent
Another simply said: "It was a terrible, terrible campaign." The source, who requested anonymity so as to speak freely about the Democratic machine's failings, added: "There was just very little enthusiasm out there."
O'Malley,who is eyeing a 2016 presidential bid and hoped to install the state's first African-America governor in his wake. The vote was a repudiation of his economic policies and speaks to his unpopularity at home. However, it's hard to imagine that Iowa caucus-goers care much about a gubernatorial race hundreds of miles away.